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Ebullient T.V. personality Tom Bergeron couldn’t save PBS from criticism last night when the network aired its annual Fourth of July celebration—featuring fireworks from the past.
Viewers noticed something was off when footage during the pyrotechnic portion of the broadcast depicted clear skies on an otherwise cloudy night, and scaffolding on the U.S. Capitol building that has since been removed. At the end of Tchaikovsky‘s 1812 Overture, PBS showed a clip of fireworks near the Washington Monument, beneath purplish hues.
On social media, the network acknowledged its controversial collage toward the conclusion of ceremonies:
We showed a combination of the best fireworks from this year and previous years. It was the patriotic thing to do. #July4thPBS— A Capitol Fourth (@July4thPBS) July 5, 2016
Later on, it apologized “for any confusion this may have caused.”
But not before watchers had weighed in with some fiery remarks:
DC fireworks in the low clouds tonight….UGH…looked much better on the PBS time machine…. pic.twitter.com/QVCuOJGTWT— Howard Bernstein (@hbwx) July 5, 2016
Lol PBS is running stock DC fireworks.— Ian Livingston (@islivingston) July 5, 2016
So the clouds swallowed the fireworks in DC tonight. The ones aired on PBS were stock footage. pic.twitter.com/ENr7T38Rvf— Clifford Hutt
(@CliffordTheHutt) July 5, 2016
LMAO PBS IS AIRING OLD STOCK FOOTAGE OF DC FIREWORKS. This is NOT the fireworks outside my window right now.— 𝙰𝚞𝚗𝚝 𝙺𝚊𝚌𝚒𝚎 (@auntkacie) July 5, 2016
The (adulterated) fireworks start at 4:25:30 in the video below: